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Primary NQT Have I made a grave mistake ?

Discussion in 'Primary' started by rcbet, Jan 5, 2011.

  1. rcbet

    rcbet New commenter

    I would really appreciate some help/guidance. Due to an illness early on in 2010 my PGCE was delayed, thus have just finished and qualified. I feel very lucky that I have a job but I really don't know what I have let myself in for and on day 2 am so sceptical whether I can do this.

    My placement classes were both very lovely and I built up some amazing relationships with them although i felt behaviour was always a tough topic for me.

    My situation is that I have joined a school where all the teachers have said I have too many, 'characters' too mention. Also what I felt was a very lucky situation to be in having their teacher (that has only been with them since september) for the whole of January before she moves abroad is now turning into panic.

    She has been a teacher for 15 years and deals with the 10 outrageous children amazingly. She is so positive and happy and praiseworthy and deals with the trouble that occurs every few minutes. In a number of brilliant ways that suits her personality and constant happy demeanor. She is being wonderful with me and making sure the children understand I am a teacher too and I have even tried taken tiny parts of lessons both on my first and second day which my personal feeling were horrendous. I know I need to search for the teaching style that is me but I firstly don't know who that is or if I can contend with taking a renown hard class (said by teachers and senior staff) 1/4 of the way through a year when she is so amazing with them. I feel they will soon see that I am not close to her quality and will not react to me if I am positive and praiseworthy and if I try to be strict a number could quite easily go wild crashing and smashing. The TA who I also feel will see that I am not up to it is also taken up fully with 1 -2 children who are highly volatile with special needs.

    I don't want to be travelling to work daily contemplating what I am doing becoming a teacher. Please help as I am close to tears which I know is CRAZY.
  2. rcbet

    rcbet New commenter

    I am so sorry to write so much...it kinda just spilt out in despair
  3. Oh Dear :(
    I read this and just instantly felt so sympathetic to you. I just cannot imagine how much your stomach sank when finding out how many little 'darlings' were in your class.
    Im no expert but my advice would be to try using different styles of teaching with them over a couple of weeks and see what they respond to the best.
    Im sure once you get going they will probably calm down and respect you however you choose to teach them.
    I toyed with the idea of doing a Primary PGCE but don't think im cut out for it, my friends came back with some horror stories! I don't think every primary class is like the ones they encountered though so just stick with it!!

  4. char2505

    char2505 New commenter

    Don't panic, don't panic! First off, if it's any comfort I am sure that many of the people who read your post (myself included) will be thinking back to their first few days as an NQT and relating to your despair. I think it would be a very unusual person who felt super confident right at the beginning. Behaviour management is the issue throughout training for so many people too, many of whom I'm sure are now great teachers. I know you mentioned that you had well behaved children on your placements, but try to give yourself a little credit too -I have rarely come across a child who I think would not take the opportunity to play up if their teacher's behaviour management was poor, so to have passed your PGCE you can't have been too bad!
    Try and use the teacher who is leaving as much as you can to give you feedback before she goes -if she's nice (as she sounds)and you haven't already,I'd level with her and your mentor about how you're feeling.
    I'm sorry this isn't more practical advice, but I just wanted to respond because I can identify with how you are feeling. x.
  5. Sillow

    Sillow Lead commenter

    I had a nightmare class in my NQT year, full of personalities that just don't gel, no matter how hard you try. Behaviour management was something I struggled with in my PGCE placements, but I wasn't warned before I started, so came up against some tricky behaviour (from parents, too)!
    However, please remember that the NQT year is always going to feel different, as having your own class is something you can't properly prepare for. Take this time while the current teacher is there to look at the strategies she uses that you like and work for you, as well as trying out some new ones (for at least 2 weeks) to see if the children respond to you through a different method. One teacher's ways aren't necessarily going to work for another teacher, so find your preferred strategies.
    The other thing I will say is that children can be fickle; we had a situation a while ago where a beloved teacher left and the children were constantly saying how their new teacher (one familiar to them) was never going to be as good. However, one term in and everyone was used to each other and the children didn't push against their new teacher. You wouldn't have known she hadn't always taught them.
    Please don't panic - you were given this job because the school believes in you. Take the support they offer, try your hardest and try to enjoy the experience! I got through my hellish NQT year and now have the loveliest of classes, but it took most of my energy for that year!
    Good luck.
  6. rcbet

    rcbet New commenter

    Thank-you so much to the three of you that replied. I have without doubt felt slightly relieved reading your advice and comments and do feel ready to accept I am not alone and that I also have a school willing to help which is a good base and that I should use the help given.

    I have just had a minor op on Friday so will go back tomorrow with a positive head and a much stronger readiness to get stuck in. I really am great-full that you all took time out to reply and make me calm down. I will take your advice and look at what works for me and the kids. Just because the teacher now is great doesn't mean what she does will work for me although I am sure some of it will.

    A really heart felt thank-you

    Ray x
  7. char2505

    char2505 New commenter

    No worries, Ray. Hope your op. goes well on Friday. Keep us posted on how you get on woth the class. Good luck x.
  8. Sillow

    Sillow Lead commenter

    Our pleasure! I hope it all works out for you. [​IMG]

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